• All performance figures are manufacturer claims, those in italics are as-tested by MOTOR. Figures for an automatic variant have an asterisk.
• Prices listed are manufacturer RRP, exclusive of on-roads. “DA” denotes driveaway price.
• Italicised fuel consumption figures are those collected on test.
• Engines are listed by configuration, capacity and means of induction. For example, I4/1.6T= turbocharged 1.6-litre inline four. Power figures made by an engine’s over-boost function are contained in parentheses.
• Red denotes new addition. Green denotes a model update.
IT LOSES four cylinders and adds four tenths to its 0-100km/h claim, but the new Bentayga V8 petrol also lands $89K under its W12 petrol sibling. Bentley reckons the 4.0-litre twin-turbo unit – shared with the new Porsche Cayenne – makes for its ‘sportiest’ SUV to date. It’s a point emphasised by the enormous 440mm carbon-ceramic front discs that, for the first time, join 22-inch alloys and a 48-volt electrical system – like Audi’s SQ7 – and active-anti roll bars on the options list.
IN AN attempt to marry its past (cool driver’s cars) and its future (electrically-powered mobility) BMW has injected some sportiness into its i3 EV. The ingredients are there for an entertaining drive: super-stiff carbon construction, a low centre of gravity, light weight and plenty of instant electric torque being delivered to the rear wheels.
The i3S builds on this by extracting an extra 10kW/20Nm from the synchronous motor, adding a Sport mode, widening the tracks by 21mm front and 10mm rear, lowering the whole shebang by 10mm and enlarging the rolling stock. Whereas the standard i3 wears 19 x 5.0-inch rims and 155/70 tyres front and rear, the S uses staggered rims (20 x 5.5 front; 20 x 6.0-inch rear) and tyres (175/55 front; 195/50 rear).
Our time behind the wheel was brief (about 12km) but it was enough to get a taste of what could be the future of the hot hatch. With maximum torque developed from standstill, the i3’s off-the-mark acceleration is potent and the S spins the motor harder to deliver meaningful pace as speeds rise, slicing 0.4sec from the standard car’s 0-100km/h claim.
SPECS ELECTRIC MOTOR, 135KW/270NM, 1265KG, 0-100KM/H 6.9SEC PRICE $69,900
The steering is light and Ferrari-quick in its response, which requires acclimation but the chassis feels agile and grippy enough to make the most of it. It’s best suited to tight, twisty, flowing roads where it can exploit its size and corner-exit punch. The ride’s decent, too.
At almost $70K and with a 200km real-world range, the i3 remains essentially an expensive curiosity, but its abilities are well suited to its intended urban use and the S is well worth the $1200 premium.
LAMBORGHINI has priced its Urus at the same $390K mark as its Huracan LP580-2 opener to the brand, meaning a buyer could essentially buy both for the sum of an Aventador S. The lucrative new SUV lobs with a 478kW/850Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that also debuts in the 404kW/770Nm, $55K-cheaper Bentley Bentayga. SUV fever certainly has hit the VW Group’s priciest brands...
MASERATI has cut the price of its Ghibli S and Quattroporte S by $4000 and $1000 respectively, despite an MY18 boost tickling the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine up to 321kW (up 20kW) and 580Nm (rising 30Nm). Each 0-100km/h claim falls by a tenth, to 4.9 seconds (Ghibli) and 5.0sec (Quattroporte), while both score revised styling, new electric steering, and tech such as blind-spot and lane-keep assistance.
THE LATEST Swift Sport undercuts a Polo GTI by $2000 – and yes, Suzuki insists this model has graduated from being a warm hatch to a properly hot item. The $25,490 Swift only gets a 103kW 1.4-litre turbo – making it the first boosted GTI/Sport ever – but check the 970kg weight and 230Nm of torque that help deliver a 7.2-second 0-100km/h. Nav, active cruise, AEB and 17s are standard. Read our first drive on page 62.